AMERICAN COCKROACH Periplaneta americana

Size:

Up to 2 inches long.

Color:

Reddish brown.

Behavior:

Like all cockroaches, it is omnivorous and will eat virtually anything people will and many things we won’t.
This cockroach thrives in warm, damp environments, such as sewers, steam tunnels, basements, crawl spaces, and boiler rooms. In southern states, it will also be found living and breeding outdoors.
The key to control is to find and treat these sources directly. In many cases, the services of a professional company are required to achieve long-term relief. In southern states where this cockroach lives outdoors, successful control involves treating the attic, crawl space, and exterior cracks in the home and finding and treating likely cockroach harborages over the entire property.

ASIAN COCKROACH Blatella asahinai

Size:

Adults measure about 1/2-inch in length.

Color:

Tan brown — looks identical to the German cockroach.

Behavior:

This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest as it seldom breeds inside homes. It is active at night and readily flies to lights on buildings where it crawls inside. It may be seen indoors during the evening, flying toward a television or other light source. Large populations can develop near buildings, so regular invasions are common where this cockroach occurs. The Asian cockroach looks identical to the German cockroach, and it can only be distinguished if seen in flight because the German cockroach cannot fly.
The Asian cockroach was introduced into the Tampa, Fla., area sometime in the 1980s and has since spread to other areas in central and southern Florida. Unlike its close cousin, the German cockroach, this species lives outdoors in fields and along edges of wooded areas. It can be found living in and around landscaped areas, sheds, dog runs and doghouses.
Because this species is a strong flier, it may be attracted to a home from neighboring fields or property. Changing exterior lighting to yellow “bug” lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Granular cockroach baits have been successful when applied to areas where this cockroach harbors outdoors. Unfortunately, sometimes the harborage is not on the affected property but on a neighboring property, so treatment without that property owner’s permission is not possible.

AUSTRALIAN COCKROACH Periplaneta australasiae

Size:

Up to 1-1/4 inches in length.

Color:

Reddish brown with yellow markings on the back half of its body.

Behavior:

The Australian cockroach is a pest of homes along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to eastern Texas, but especially in parts of Florida. This cockroach is a ready flier and travels easily from trees onto houses. It is commonly attracted to homes to feed on improperly maintained trash containers and pet food on patios and decks. Once by the house, these insects may then enter.
The Australian cockroach usually invades the attic or crawl space, where it finds conditions similar to that found within a tree hole (its natural habitat). Once populations grow large inside these sites, the cockroaches regularly venture down into the home. The occasional cockroach may wander into a home from harborage outside, but chronic infestations are most always associated with attic or crawl space populations.
Eliminating or minimizing potential harborages outside is the best way to limit infestations of these cockroaches.
Sealing cracks in the buildings exterior is a prudent step to prevent pests from entering.
Installing screening in all vents is important.

BROWN BANDED COCKROACH Supella longipalpa

Size:

Adults are about 1/2-inch in length.

Color:

Male is light brown. The female may have dark brown wings. Both sexes, however, have the lighter-colored bands running across the wings directly behind the prothorax.

Behavior:

Like all cockroaches that invade buildings, this species prefers to spend much of its time resting in cracks and voids. Most of its activity will occur at night when it feels safe to move about in search of food and water. The brown banded cockroach does not seem to require as much moisture as German cockroaches, and therefore may be found in rooms other than kitchens and bathrooms. Brown banded cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat anything that possesses organic matter, even organic glues used in books and cabinets.
Brown banded cockroaches are far less common than German cockroaches and are usually found in apartments, motels, and long-term care facilities. Like German cockroaches, these will be found in kitchens and bathrooms. However, because brown banded cockroaches can survive in drier areas, they will also be found in bedrooms, living rooms, closets, bookcases, etc. This behavior can make the brown banded cockroach a bit more difficult to control.
Cockroaches require plenty of food, water, and shelter in order to thrive. Limiting any one of these necessities makes it more difficult for cockroach populations to become established and escalate in size. The following steps are helpful in preventing and limiting cockroach infestations:
• Inspect all incoming food goods, boxes, and used furniture and appliances for the presence of cockroaches or their egg capsules. Remove any cockroaches or egg capsules using a vacuum or otherwise killing the insects.
• In commercial facilities, avoid storing food items in cardboard boxes on shelves. Cardboard is a preferred harborage site for cockroaches.
• In homes, do not store paper bags under the sink or elsewhere in the kitchen. Store bags in the garage or room other than the kitchen, utility room, or bathrooms.
• Seal holes or cracks around plumbing pipes under sinks, behind toilets, etc.

CUBAN COCKROACH Panchlora nivea

 

Size:

Adults measure 3/4-inch to one inch in length.

Color:

Brightly colored, lime green.

Behavior:

This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest, as it does not breed inside homes. It is active at night and readily flies to lights on buildings where it crawls inside.
The Cuban cockroach is found along the Southeast Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas, but it is more commonly seen in Florida. It lives among piles of leaves, mulch, lumber piles, firewood piles and similar outdoor harborages. Homes located on wooded lots may be more prone to encounters with this species.
Because this species is a good flier, it may be attracted to a home from neighboring fields or property. Changing exterior lighting to yellow “bug” lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Removing leaf piles, woodpiles and other harborages is also helpful.

FLORIDA WOODS COCKROACH Eurycotis floridanus

Size:

Among the largest in the United States, this cockroach may measure greater than 2 inches in length.

Color:

Very dark brown or black.

Behavior:

Florida woods cockroaches are found in central to northern Florida and are common around homes with wooded lots. They typically enter the attics or crawl spaces of homes and, from there, move down into the living spaces. When disturbed, these cockroaches give off a strong, disagreeable odor. While it feeds on a wide variety of foods, the Florida woods cockroach prefers decaying organic debris it finds outdoors.
This species lives outdoors in tree holes, wood piles, leaf litter, and heavy ground-covering vegetation, such as ivy. In homes, it prefers to live in poorly ventilated attics and crawl spaces where the humidity levels remain at a high, yet constant, level.
The best strategies for dealing with the Florida woods cockroach are exclusion and harborage reduction. Tips include:
• Heavy vegetation such as ivy, monkey grass, and other ground covers, should not be used in landscape beds next to the building.
• Firewood should be stored off the ground and as far from the house as possible.
• Piles of lumber, bricks, etc. should be removed from the property.
• Cracks in exterior walls should be sealed.
• Tight-fitting screens should be in place over all attic and foundation vents.

GERMAN COCKROACH Blatella germanica

Size:

About 1/2-inch in length.

Color:

Brown.

Behavior:

The German cockroach is the most prolific breeder among all cockroaches. Each egg capsule can contain up to 40 eggs and development from egg to adult can occur in as little as 45 days. Like all cockroaches, it is omnivorous and will eat virtually anything people will and many things we won’t.
In homes, this pest will first locate itself in bathrooms and the kitchen, as close as possible to food and moisture sources. It spends about 80 percent of its time resting in cracks and voids.
Control of German cockroaches takes persistence and experience. An infestation can be controlled using over-the-counter products, but homeowners often meet with frustration and call a professional.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH Blatta orientalis

Size:

Both male and female are about one inch in length.

Color:

The female is all black, while the male has two brown wings.

Behavior:

The oriental cockroach is a pest in homes throughout much of the United States. It is rarely seen in southeastern states, however. During the summer, oriental cockroaches move outdoors where they may venture into neighboring buildings. During the colder months, they reinvade homes, establishing themselves in basements and crawl spaces.
This cockroach commonly inhabits sewers and storm culverts and will enter buildings through floor drains. It will also live outdoors in firewood, leaf litter, sheds, dog houses, and similar locations. Indoors, the basement, crawl space, and occasionally the attic will be the primary harborage for this pest
Eliminating or minimizing potential harborages outside is the best way to limit infestations of these cockroaches.
Sealing cracks in the building’s exterior helps prevent these pests from entering.
Installing screening in all vents is important.

SMOKY BROWN COCKROACH Periplaneta filiginosa

Size:

As large as 1-1/2 inches in length.

Color:

Dark mahogany brown.

Behavior:

This cockroach is a ready flier and easily travels from trees onto houses. It is commonly attracted to homes to feed on improperly maintained trash containers and pet food on patios and decks. Once by the house, the insect may then enter.
The smoky brown cockroach usually invades the attic or crawl space where it finds conditions similar to those found within a tree hole. Once populations grow large inside these areas, the cockroaches regularly venture down into the home. The occasional cockroach may wander into a home from harborage outside but chronic infestations are most always associated with attic or crawl space populations. Research has shown that attics and crawl spaces that have good ventilation are less likely to have these cockroaches living within them. The smoky brown is a common pest of homes along the Gulf Coast from central Florida to eastern Texas. It is also found in a few areas of Southern California, especially in the Los Angeles area.
The best way to control smoky brown cockroaches is to determine the source and treat it directly, usually with a cockroach bait product. To keep these cockroaches from invading, the following steps are helpful:
• Ensure the attic and/or crawl space has sufficient ventilation. Research has shown that proper ventilation creates an environment unsuitable for cockroaches and other pests. It also improves the heating and cooling efficiency of the home.
• Make sure that all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens.
• Seal as many exterior cracks and holes as possible on the outside of the home.
• Do not allow pet food to sit out overnight. Pick it up after outdoor pets are finished eating.
• Store firewood as far from the house as possible, locating it off the ground and covering it with a tarp or plastic.
• Eliminate piles of lumber and debris where cockroaches could harbor.

SURINAM COCKROACH Pycnoscelus surinamensis

Size:

Adults measure 3/4-inch in length.

Color:

Pronotum (head area) is dark brown to black, while the wings are olive green.

Behavior:

This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest, as it does not breed inside homes. It can appear in northern states, usually in shopping malls and zoos, where it is found in atriums and potted plants carried from nurseries in Florida and other southern states. In the South, the Surinam cockroach can build large populations around structures in landscape beds where thick mulch layers, heavy ground cover and landscape timbers are present. This species does not fly.
The Surinam cockroach is found along the Southeast Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. It lives among piles of leaves, mulch, lumber piles, firewood piles and similar outdoor harborages
Removing leaf piles, woodpiles and other potential harborages is the best approach with this cockroach. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Granular cockroach baits applied to active harborages are also helpful.

WOODS COCKROACH – FEMALE Parcoblatta spp.

Size:

A number of species belong in this group. Adults measure 1/2-inch to one inch in length.

Color:

Reddish brown to dark brown, depending on the species. Females do not have fully developed wings, only small wing pads.

Behavior:

This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest, as it does not breed inside homes. Adult males usually mature in June and July and are active at night. Being strong fliers, they will readily fly to lights on buildings and may crawl inside. Where conditions exist to support adult females and nymphs close to a home foundation, these may wander inside occasionally throughout the summer.
Various species of woods cockroaches occur throughout the United States, but these are more common in eastern and southern states. They live among piles of leaves, mulch, lumber piles, firewood piles and similar outdoor harborages. Homes located on wooded lots may be more prone to encounters with these cockroaches. In extreme cases where soffits remain moist or wet due to clogged gutters or leaks, woods cockroaches can become established in soffits and behind fascia boards, especially around chimneys.
Changing exterior lighting to yellow “bug” lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Removing leaf piles, woodpiles and other harborages is very important in minimizing the potential number of cockroaches near the home.

WOODS COCKROACH – MALE Parcoblatta spp.

Size:

A number of species belong in this group. Adults measure 1/2-inch to one inch in length.

Color:

Reddish brown to dark brown, depending on the species. Females do not have fully developed wings, only small wing pads.

Behavior:

This species lives primarily outdoors and is considered a nuisance pest, as it does not breed inside homes. Adult males usually mature in June and July and are active at night. Being strong fliers, they will readily fly to lights on buildings and may crawl inside. Where conditions exist to support adult females and nymphs close to a home foundation, these may wander inside occasionally throughout the summer.
Various species of woods cockroaches occur throughout the United States, but these are more common in eastern and southern states. They live among piles of leaves, mulch, lumber piles, firewood piles and similar outdoor harborages. Homes located on wooded lots may be more prone to encounters with these cockroaches. In extreme cases where soffits remain moist or wet due to clogged gutters or leaks, woods cockroaches can become established in soffits and behind fascia boards, especially around chimneys.
Changing exterior lighting to yellow “bug” lights can help reduce the number of cockroaches attracted to a home, as can simply keeping lights turned off. It is also important to seal as many exterior cracks as possible, and to ensure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Removing leaf piles, woodpiles and other harborages is very important in minimizing the potential number of cockroaches near the home.